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What's a winning culture in a growth focused company

Nikhil John
18th Sep 2015
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In every success, there hides a rule and a discipline that is being followed. Every business and even a personal being should have a structure as a guide so that you’ll never get lost. This serves as a pattern to make things flow smoothly, let you get back to the right path if anything is not going right and lets you improve and discover something new as you go along.

winning_culture

Culture

In order to stay focused one must have a principle to follow, and we’re very proud to share what we have:

Our mantra:

Stay hungry, stay grounded

Staying hungry means being highly motivated, resourceful, scrappy, and determined. When we say stay grounded, it only means – never stop going, never become complacent with what you already have, never stop improving, and always look for new ways and things to sharpen the saw.

Be clear

When communicating, it is important that you are clear and being understood. Here are my inputs that made me successful:

  • Always use plaintext for all emails and documents, that is, no unusual fonts, no bullets (just use indents).
  • Communicate using as few words as possible and use lists, for example, 1), 2), 3) whenever possible.
  • Always respond within 24 hours; never ignore anyone; warn people one week in advance about your vacation.
  • When asked a question, answer in a single sentence first and then explain your answer in greater detail.
  • Constantly manage expectations so that everyone always knows what to expect from you.

Be effective

Efficiency is the key. One must know to manage time effectively and know the priorities.

  • Constantly prioritise and only do what actually matters.
  • Write everything down so you don't have to remember anything; brains are for thinking, not for storing.
  • Be entirely self-directed; figure out what needs to get done, communicate it, then get it done, and then repeat.
  • Always figure out the approach that involves the least amount of effort in order to achieve the desired result.

Never let your current situation determine the options you have to choose from (just change your situation).

Always remember,

Fail small repeatedly until you succeed small, then scale up your small success into a big success.”

Move quickly

When you think multitasking is efficient – you’re making a very big mistake. This will not only stop you from accomplishing what you need to do but will also confuse you, which will lead you to not have done anything at all.

  • Work only on one thing at a time (never multitask); skip tasks when blocked.
  • Perfect is the enemy of done; get things done quickly and then constantly improve it from there.
  • Maintain a calm sense of urgency in everything you do; maximise speed at an optimal level of quality.
  • Meetings slow everything down; avoid them whenever possible via really good written communication.

Be direct

Make others a good favour by being brutally honest and upfront; better to be slightly offensive than never knowing what anyone is thinking, but say it in the most positive way. These simple rules will avoid conflict and misunderstanding in your working relationship.

  • Never hide problems or avoid conflicts; calmly talk through it until the root cause of the problem is solved.
  • Think independently (avoid groupthink); if no one rocks the boat, it comfortably goes over the waterfall.
  • It's your responsibility to teach others on how you want to be treated; don't expect them to read your mind.
  • Quickly own up to your mistakes (ignore your ego); never complain, just focus on solving the problem.
  • Constantly give feedback to co-workers as soon as you notice problems and ask for feedback in return.

Fix bad behaviour

There is always a room for improvement if you are open to learn it the good way. Never take any feedback seriously that will affect your performance, instead observe, listen and borrow the good things other people is showing you. Below are the highlights that need to be eliminated to become successful.

  • Inattention to results: sloppiness, inconsistency, low quality work, lack of attention to detail.
  • Lack of commitment: unresponsive, laziness, doesn't do exactly what they say they will do.
  • Avoidance of accountability: excuse-making, evading responsibility, blaming others.
  • Politics: talking trash about someone behind their back, sabotaging others' work, gossiping.
  • Fear of conflict: hides problems, avoids confrontations, avoidance behaviour when dealing with issues.

 Be respectful

Always remember the golden rule. If you want to be respected then act like you deserve it by respecting others first. Here are your takeaways:

  • Be extremely respectful of others' time, a good example, don't ask questions that can be answered by Google.
  • Never criticise others; give them feedback one-on-one privately, ideally via voice (not in writing).
  • Always give people the benefit of the doubt; conflicts are symptoms of miscommunications or systemic failures.
  • Treat everyone as an equal; don't try to please others; just do the best job you can and the rest will follow.

Solve problems (How?)

Not everyone has the guts of knowing how to effectively solve a problem, here’re what is making me successful in dealing to them so far:

  • Ask 'Why?' five times to get to the root cause of the problem
  • Everything must be accountable down to a single person who is responsible for his/her success or failure.
  • Form hypothesis via your gut, then systematically test everything and let the evidence output guide you.
  • Always start with the customer and work backwards from there; the rest will follow.

Important tips:

“If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything.”

Your priorities in life should be (in order) personal health, family, company, friends, and everything else.

Join us to know more about growth hacking

Image Credit "ShutterStock"

 

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